From opportunist graduate to medical pioneer, Liverpool based vet Paul Boland talks about how he got his first break in the world of veterinary surgery and how he sees natural remedies and stem cell enhancement as the future of the practice.
“It was probably All Creatures Great and Small,” explains Paul Boland when reflecting on what first got him interested in a career in veterinary surgery.
I loved that, and the books. I was a keen ornithologist and used to do bird watching while listening to Everton’s games on the transistor radio.”
The son of a Dublin-born painter and decorator, Boland had his heart set on a career as a vet from the age of 11 and now he and his business partner, Geoff Potts, run two of Liverpool’s most well known practices.
But it wasn’t the usual journey into veterinary surgery for Toxteth-born Paul.
“Usually you have to practice for 10 years before you are offered a partnership,” he explains.
“But we have always been forward thinking.”
Having Worked at a kennels as a 15 year old in Alder with Potts – four years his senior – the pair were offered full-time jobs after graduating from Liverpool University in the early 1990s.
Grasping the opportunity with both hands, not only did they see the chance as a rare opening in a competitive industry, they were then able to buy-out the original owners of the practice, which dated back over 100 years within a year – using their private pension schemes to guarantee an initial bank loan.
If that wasn’t enough, in 1999, they opened the Brodie Avenue site, again raising funds through investments and loans to purchase four houses on the same site, which are now used to accommodate staff.
The practice now employs nine vets and 40 staff, treating everything from small animals to horses. They were even the first in Liverpool and the third in the UK to open an emergency centre.
Boland has increasingly championed natural remedies to treat animals over the past decade, a practice which he is keen to maintain in his practices.
“Natural medicine is mostly linked to nutrition,” he explains, something which he strongly believes apples to humans as well.
“When we treat animals, owners usually joke, ‘I wish I could have that’, and they can. We do human products too!”
This might be why his website, www.naturalhealthvet.com, provides products for human, as well as animal consumption.
And in his mind there is no doubt why.
“Disease is just damaged cells, he proclaims. “All cells live for a certain time, so every seven years you get a new body, basically.
“Then new cells are released to replace the damaged ones by using bone marrow.
“As you get older you have fewer circulating adult stem cells, but these enhancers cause more cells to be created – and adult stem cells can change into any cell.”
Mr Boland, who is also an acupuncturist and reiki master, was the first vet in Europe to use stem cell enhancers.
“I am from a conventional medicine background but started looking into natural medicine because treatment caused one of my dogs to need a blood transfusion and she almost died,” he says.
“Natural products are cheaper and safer, with far less side effects, and they work, you even have the compliance of the animal because they eat them.
“I see natural stem cell enhancers being routine treatment for animals, and people in the future.”